The WOLF school offers 46 lucky 5th graders the opportunity to come to Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium every day for their classroom studies, as part of a conservation science based learning program. These students learn the entire 5th grade curriculum through the lens of science. Teachers are provided through the school system and work with Wonders of Wildlife educators and other conservation education organizations throughout the Ozarks to expand the knowledge of these students.
Throughout the year, the students will think of themselves as “explorers”, comparing their experiences to those of people like Lewis and Clark, Daniel Boone, and Henry Schoolcraft. These people possessed a distinguishing set of characteristics, were conservationists before conservation was “cool”, and out of necessity, were experienced in many areas of science. This school is a partnership with the Springfield Public School System. The partnership involves housing a school of choice program at Wonders of Wildlife. Schools of Choice are an integral part of the Springfield Public School’s strategic plan, and this school will be a model for others in the future.
|Water ecosystems: Students start the year actually in the water with canoes, kayaks, fishing poles, and snorkels, investigating water ecosystems.|
|Forest/glade/savannah ecosystems: As fall approaches, they begin hunting, fishing, and hiking. As the weather cools students are introduced to map and compass, dog training (as it applies to hunting), outdoor cooking, wilderness first aid, and fall foliage.|
|Cave ecosystems: During the cold winter months, the students continue with much of the above, as is practical, but add more indoor activities including: woodworking, taxidermy, rock climbing, caves/grotto, wild game cooking, nature art, trapping, eagle watching, and animal handling.|
|Wetland/Prairie ecosystems: As spring begins the students study wetland and prairie habitats. They begin looking at wildflowers and wild edibles.|
|Backyard habitats: In addition to all of the above, the students will look at gardening and backyard birding.|
|Water ecosystems: As the students approach the end of school, and the water warms up again, they will re-visit our favorite water spots with a whole new perspective.|
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Springfield Public Schools